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A sea lion had stationed itself right in the middle of the multisport event’s course at the beach at Taieri Mouth.
The organisers contacted the Department of Conservation and a ranger came out to make sure the sea lion was all right. Volunteers helped keep an eye on the animal while the race took place around it.
The sea lion did not seem to mind the attention and the race went off without a hitch.
Though there was plenty of mud, the weather at least held and was fine after the forecast had been poor.
The event is in its 17th year and attracted more than 200 competitors on Sunday, which was down on last year but organisers were still happy.
The classic takes place mainly on private land, including some private farm tracks and sections of the beach.
Nathan Shanks was quickest in the 21km run, with a time of 1hr 29min 41sec, while Andrew Fraser had the fastest time in the 45km mountain bike race with a time of 1hr 49min 24sec.
The event raises money for the Taieri Mouth community.
Over the years it has given money for an upgrade of the community hall and the tennis courts and this year the money raised will go towards a tsunami warning device for the Taieri Mouth area.